Jan Crawford touted how ObamaCare going into full effect in early 2014 is "causing all kinds of concern and anxiety, especially with...small business owners" on Friday's CBS This Morning. Crawford also pointed out Senator Max Baucus' April 17, 2013 "train wreck" label of the upcoming implementation of the health care law. This was the first time that a Big Three morning or evening newscast mentioned Baucus' blunt remark.
The correspondent zeroed in on a California bakery whose owner asserted that he "can't make any decisions, because the federal government is giving no guidance" with regard to ObamaCare.
During live coverage of Barack Obama's Tuesday press conference Chuck Todd surprisingly pressed the President about Democratic Senator Max Baucus calling ObamaCare a "train wreck." It was surprising because his own network has yet to report on the almost two-week old warning that the Montana senator made to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius during an April 17 hearing.
Until Tuesday morning's press conference not one of the Big Three (ABC, CBS and NBC) network reporters or anchors reported on Baucus's criticism. (video after the jump)
Yesterday, Sen. Max Baucus announced that he is retiring in 2014, making the six-term Montana Democrat the sixth senator of his party to step down two years from now instead of running for re-election.
That statistic alarmed Rachel Maddow, the liberal host of a weeknight program on MSNBC, who asked anxiously on Tuesday: “Tell us if something is wrong there. What is the secret about this place that has you fleeing like rats from a sinking ship?”
As the Big Three –NBC, ABC, and CBS – continue to engage in, to borrow a George Will term, journalistic malpractice over ObamaCare’s adverse effects on the economy, they probably missed the development concerning Democrats who are calling for repeal of a tax which was embedded within the behemoth health care overhaul.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is ramping up her efforts to repeal the tax on medical devices that’s included in ObamaCare. The liberal Talking Points Memo reported today that it’s building upon a vote last month,where the majority of Senate Democrats voted with their GOP colleagues to repeal the tax. Klobuchar, of course, voted for ObamaCare. But wait, there's more discontent from Democratic ranks, with Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus warning of a coming "train wreck" when ObamaCare is scheduled for full implementation in 2014.
One of the greatest perversions of statism is the use of taxpayer money to push for ever more government spending and more government intervention. A casual listener to the far-left end of the FM dial, National Public Radio, will quickly conclude that NPR is one of America's leading offenders in this perversion.
Let's just take one show, the August 22 evening newscast "All Things Considered," perhaps one of the most ill-named programs in the history of radio. Conservatism is never considered. It is only besmirched, assaulted, and rhetorically dismembered.
On Tuesday, Times reporter Robert Pear couldn’t describe Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman as “liberal Democrats,” only as “influential Democrats.” In Thursday’s Times, Pear displayed no aversion to labeling conservatives named to the new “super committee” created in the debt-limit deal.
Pear even found Democrats John Kerry (lifetime American Conservative Union rating 5) and Max Baucus (ACU lifetime score, 14) would be found in the middle: “If a deal is to be struck in the middle, it is likely to involve Mr. [Rob] Portman, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts and perhaps Senator Max Baucus of Montana, Congressional aides said.” But the Republican list included the “most conservative” Members:
If you look at the description of yesterday afternoon's U.S. Senate Roll Call Vote Number 278 ("A bill to amend title 28, United States Code, to clarify and improve certain provisions relating to the removal of litigation against Federal officers or agencies to Federal courts, and for other purposes."), you'd never know it had anything to do with illegal immigration.
But it did. It was a cloture vote (60 needed to get the measure to the Senate floor) about about the so-called "DREAM Act," granting de facto amnesty to a vast number of illegal immigrants for entering college or joining the military. It has been a Democratic Party-"inspired" initiative with heavy Republican opposition from the get-go. It could easily have passed if the Democrats had been able to hold their membership together while picking off a couple of squishy Republicans.
They got their squishes: Republicans Murkowski (AK), Lugar (IN), and Bennett (UT) voted yes. That should have given the measure 61 votes. But Democrats Baucus (MT), Hagan (NC), Nelson (NE), Pryor AR), and Tester (MT) voted no, while Manchin (WV) did not vote. The measure's 55-41 support was not enough to move it to the next step.
(UPDATE: Politico is now covering this with reference to this very NewsBusters story. Politico's Patrick Gavin claims that Baucus's office was sent an e-mail for an explanation of his strange behavior and will update later with the reply. Come on, Patrick. Do you really expect a candid response? And who in the Baucus Senate office will reply? His military affairs aide, Captain Morgan?)
How can one explain this incredibly bizarre performance by Max Baucus on the Senate floor? Was Baucus so intoxicated by the sound of his own voice that he went off the deep end? Or perhaps he was so drunk with power over shaping the Senate health care bill that it explains his strange rant. In any event, if a conservative such as Jim DeMint or Jeff Sessions had acted this way in the Senate, the mainstream media would have featured the video over and over and over again. Instead, since this was Democrat Max Baucus, this video was almost completely ignored by the MSM.
Since the MSM has provided no information on the Baucus performance, your humble correspondent has searched the blogosphere for answers. Here is an observation from Susan Flowers at Examiner.Com:
Is this acceptable, NO. Is this behavior and lack of leadership acceptable to U.S. Citizens who are paying his salary?
Have all rules established over hundreds of years being thrown out and disregarded by the Democrat party? He should be brought before his peers and punished, if they don't, should Voters, as employers, write him up for inappropriate behavior and disorderly conduct?
Americans are paying taxes to support his career. If you disapprove, call and write the other Senators and request he be charged with disorderly conduct. No one in the Congress or Senate should be allowed to be intoxicated when officially representing the Citizens of the USA.
While it has been documented that CNN's Howard Kurtz chided his own news network for ignoring the recently-revealed scandal involving Montana Democratic Senator Max Baucus nominating his girlfriend for a U.S. attorney position -- after the CNN anchor had monitored CNN on Saturday -- it turns out that on Sunday morning, even before Kurtz's Reliable Sources show had begun, CNN had already started to pay more attention to the scandal than the news network had on Saturday, but -- while one may argue the story deserves even more attention -- CNN Sunday Morning actually devoted somewhat more time to the story than the other morning newscasts on ABC, CBS, NBC, and even FNC.
Baucus was also directly labeled as a Democrat by CNN Sunday Morning co-anchors T.J. Holmes and Betty Nguyen, which the two had done in the previous day's story on CNN Saturday Morning. The Baucus scandal was mentioned several other times during the day on CNN NewsRoom, each time with Baucus clearly identified as a Democrat.
On Sunday’s Reliable Sources, CNN's Howard Kurtz brought up the scarcity of media attention paid to the revelation that high-profile Democratic Senator Max Baucus nominated his girlfriend to be a U.S. attorney for his home state of Montana, as the CNN host even took to task CNN for ignoring the scandal, calling it a "stunning lapse in judgment," and recounted that he had monitored the news channel on Saturday and did not see Baucus mentioned. Kurtz: "Washington Post has it on page three, New York Times has it on page 33. I watched CNN all day yesterday. I didn’t see any mention of this story, which I thought was a stunning lapse in judgment."
When Kurtz questioned why there was so little media attention, guest Chip Reid of CBS News asserted there was "no scandal" in the story. Reid: "I don’t think it has legs because there’s no sex scandal, and it’s not like Vitter. It’s not like Ensign. There’s no scandal here."
On CNN Saturday Morning News today, anchors Betty Nguyen and T.J. Holmes reported on a U.S. senator who nominated his girlfriend to serve as a federal prosecutor earlier this year:
HOLMES: Well, it is something -a player, a name that a lot of people normally might not know a whole lot about, from a state that most people don't know a whole lot about. He's been important in the health care debate.
NGUYEN: That is true.
HOLMES: Senator Max Baucus, out of Montana, he is a key player on a Senate committee that has been putting together some health care legislation. News coming out that he actually nominated his current girlfriend for a U.S. attorney position, while the two were involved. They are both divorced here. So that is not an issue and not accused of breaking up each other marriages.
NGUYEN: Yes, there was no affair or anything like that at all.
Anchor John Roberts became the fourth CNN personality to omit the left-wing affiliation of Wendell Potter, as he interviewed the on Tuesday’s American Morning. Roberts only described Potter as someone who “worked for two different insurance companies in the past, and now he’s working against them to help get reform passed.”
Before introducing his guest, the CNN anchor played up the merits of Senator Max Baucus’s health care reform proposal: “The Senate Finance Committee’s health care reform bill got high marks from the Congressional Budget Office for keeping the deficit down, but now, insurance companies say it will actually cost you and your family thousands of dollars more than you’re paying now. So who is telling the truth?”
After posing this rhetorical question, Roberts introduced his guest: “We’re joined by Wendell Potter. He has worked for two different insurance companies in the past, and now he’s working against them to help get reform passed.” An on-screen graphic gave a glowing description of the former insurance company spokesman’s career: “Former head of public relations at Cigna Corp. and Humana Inc., now a whistleblower against health insurance industry- advocate for health care reform.” Another chyron finally revealed that the guest was also “Sr. Fellow on Health Care, Ctr. For Media & Democracy,” but Roberts never revealed Potter’s affiliation with the left-wing organization.
Following the talking points of the Democratic Party, at the top of Thursday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez declared a win for health care legislation being pushed by Montana Senator Max Baucus: “President Obama’s health care plan gets a green light from the Congressional Budget Office, as a key bill not only pays for itself, but actually saves billions.”
Rodriguez later introduced a report on the CBO estimates by declaring: “This morning Democratic leaders are cheering a report that shows that the Senate Finance Committee’s health care bill actually saves money.” Correspondent Nancy Cordes followed: “The new bill would actually reduce the federal deficit by $81 billion according to the new estimates. The price tag, $829 billion over ten years, would be fully paid for, and then some, by an excise tax on top dollar insurance plans, by fees on drug makers and medical device manufacturers, and more.”
During the segment, an on-screen headline read: “One Step Closer? New Health Care Estimate Raises White House Hopes.” In her report, Cordes cited Jonathan Cohn, the senior editor of the liberal magazine, The New Republic, who praised the bill: “You’re average family will have security they don’t have, they won’t – they’ll know they won’t lose their insurance if they lose their job. If they need financial assistance paying for their health care, that will be available to them.”
CNN’s Rick Sanchez joined two of his colleagues in omitting the left-wing affiliation of Wendell Potter, a senior fellow at the Center for Media and Democracy. In fact, Sanchez went so far as to deny Potter’s alignment with liberals: “Is he [Potter] some crazy lefty? Is he Ralph Nader? Is he Dennis Kucinich? No. In fact, he’s a former player in the health insurance world.”
Before the CNN anchor made this denial about Potter, he read the senior fellow’s assessment of Senator Max Baucus’s health care “reform” proposal: “Here’s what my next guest thinks of this Baucus bill- quote, ‘It’s hard to imagine how insurance companies could have written legislation,’ he says- ‘that would benefit them more.’ In other words, if the guys who run the insurance companies would have sat down and written legislation- he says- they couldn’t have written it any better.”
Sanchez then made his introduction of his guest: “Who’s my guest? Is he some crazy lefty? Is he Ralph Nader? Is he Dennis Kucinich? No. In fact, he’s a former player in the health insurance world. He used to be a part of it. You ever heard of Cigna? Of course, you’ve heard of Cigna. They’re one of the biggest insurers in the whole world. Wendell Potter is who I’m talking about, and for 15 years he was the company’s chief corporate spokesperson, and he was also an executive with Humana as well.” He didn’t mention Potter’s current position with the Center for Media and Democracy during the interview, though an on-screen graphic did mention it (see above).
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went on the Senate floor to call out the Obama administration for using a federal agency to squelch mailings by health insurance company Humana, warning customers of proposed cuts to the Medicare Advantage program under Democratic health care reform proposals.
But Wednesday's New York Times's print edition skipped the Humana speech suppression completely. Instead the paper contented itself with a story on its health care blog, "Prescriptions." A health care story considered more newsworthy that did make the print edition: A profile of comedian Will Ferrell's parody ad defending health insurance executives, generously headlined "Adding Humor to Debate."
The Times finally brought up the controversy in print on Thursday, working it into three paragraphs near the end of Robert Pear's front-page profile of Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, "Senator Tries to Allay Fears on Health Overhaul." Even then, the Times emphasized excuses for the Democrats' behavior, sandwiching Sen. McConnell's free speech complaint between an explanation from administration officials and an attack on Humana by a Democratic senator.
The New York Times's health care priorities were on display in Wednesday's paper. While a parody ad by liberal comedian Will Ferrell and left-wing MoveOn.org was considered newsworthy, suppression of free speech by the Obama administration was left out.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky went on the Senate floor Tuesday and called out the Obama administration for using a federal agency to squelch mailings by insurance company Humana. The mailings to beneficiaries warned them of possible cuts to the Medicare Advantage program under Obama-care.
In a sign of escalating tension on Capitol Hill, the Republican leader in the Senate, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, accused Democrats and the Obama administration on Tuesday of trying to muzzle critics of their proposed health care legislation.
The threat of a government-run public option plan in health care legislation was frightening enough to spur thousands of people to attend town hall meetings across the country and voice their dissent, sometimes angrily.
Now legislators and the national media are talking about a possible "compromise" that could replace the public option with health care co-ops. Conservatives are concerned that such an attempt will just be "government health care in yet another set of clothes," but national broadcast or print media have practically omitted that perspective.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., stirred up those concerns July 9 when he said, "We're going to have some type of public option, call it 'co-op,' call it what you want."
According to Nexis, ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN, as well as the five major newspapers, ignored this admission from Reid. In fact, on the three broadcast networks Reid wasn't even mentioned in any of the 21 health care co-op stories. More than half of those stories (12) used the word "compromise" to discuss the co-ops and only 2 conservatives critical of co-ops were included.
"I think right now for example, this health care debate looks like it's - we could lose it because I don't think [Obama] he has been tough enough," Maher said. "You know, he used to say in the campaign, ‘It's your time.' This is his time. He should get mad, stop [expletive] around."
One of the hurdles Obama is facing to get his brand of health care made law is some of the more moderate Democrats in the Senate aren't willing to agree to the far-reaching plan Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership want. Maher said it really didn't matter what they thought.
On Friday’s Special Report with Bret Baier, FNC correspondent Shannon Bream informed viewers of a letter written to Attorney General Eric Holder from 65 House Democrats who oppose the Attorney General’s recently expressed wish to "reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons" to try to reduce violence by Mexican drug cartels. Bream further relayed the recommendations of Democratic Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester, both from Montana, that the Obama administration should focus on enforcing current gun laws.
Below is a complete transcript of the report from the Friday, March 27, Special Report with Bret Baier on FNC:
Former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle (picture at right is part of a Getty Images pic at a related New York Times story) has just upped the ante in Washington's tax-avoiding/evading game of "Can you top this?"
Whereas recently confirmed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner "only" $40,000 in back taxes and interest, principally relating to unpaid Social Security and Medicare taxes (with a dash of retirement-plan penalty and illegally deducted overnight summer camp expenses included in the mix), the man who Rush Limbaugh used to call "Puff" Daschle during his Senate days has upped to ante to six figures.